After United Fiasco, SFPD Urged To Stay Out Of Airline Overbooking Disputes

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Following the controversial removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight in Chicago on Sunday, a San Francisco supervisor is hoping to make sure it doesn’t happen here.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy Tuesday asked the city attorney’s office to draft legislation preventing San Francisco police from being involved in the removal of passengers from planes on behalf of airlines that overbook seats.

“I don’t think our police should be involved in that,” Sheehy said.

The request came after a widely publicized incident in which Chicago aviation police removed a United Airlines customer from a flight after the airline bumped several passengers to allow some of its own employees to board.

When one man refused, he was dragged off the flight screaming and suffered injuries that left his face bloody.

The incident was captured on cell phone videos by other passengers and has developed into a public relations disaster for the airline. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, after initially defending the actions of the airlines employees, on Tuesday issued an apology and promised an internal investigation.

San Francisco police provide security at San Francisco International Airport in most areas.

“We are the primary law enforcement agency for the airport, so if there was a disturbance anywhere for the airport, with the exception of the customs arrival area, we would respond to that call for service,” Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a police department spokesman, said Tuesday.

Andraychak said the department could not comment on legislation. He did, however, note that officers called out to a situation on an aircraft would usually interview involved parties and “try to mediate a resolution” where possible.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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